by Pastor Ben Kingston, Bethel Baptist Church • Lonedell, MO
I’m sitting here on Wednesday night at one of the most beautiful evenings that I’ve ever seen at Jesus Camp at the Meramec Retreat Center. We had a good crowd; however it is small. I’m sitting here wondering aloud that out of 20 churches why is this tabernacle not full on Wednesday night? This campus is within 20 to 40 minutes of most of our churches.
About 5 years ago I had the idea to challenge our churches to have a Camp attendance sign-up by March, challenging each member and attendee to pick a night to attend. If you want to pick all the same night for your church, that’s great. Or, if you have folks that want to come different nights whatever the case may be.
As the Pastor of Bethel Baptist Church and the Chairman of the Camp Committee, I’m asking every church to participate in the Meramec Association Jesus Camp and by March that you put a sign-up sheet. I’m challenging the Pastors to challenge your members and attendees to pick a night and come. The goal is to get as many folks of your membership here that you can.
So now, a test question: “Do I have to convince anyone in this association that America needs revival? If so, then I’ll love you enough to tell you that you have your head firmly in the sand. We are a broken nation. We are a dying nation, and as a result, we are a suffering nation. I don’t believe our kids are the problem. I believe Christians refusing to sell out to the Great Commission is.
I know that our churches are full of people that are sold out today to the Commission, so I’m asking you to be the change that you want to see in our youth and here is an opportunity to do just that.
One of the things that is wrong with Christianity in America is a refusal to join in where you see God working. We had 13 saved at Kid Camp. God is working! Please come. Bring your kids and grand kids, or send hem and then come in the evening and see what God has done on that day.
This association has somewhere in the neighborhood of $500,000 invested. We should not only support because of finances. We should support this Camp because of the commitment to Christ. Our goal is to reach lost men, women, boys, and girls.
I was told as a young lad that the reason that we are part of an association is because we can do together more than what we can do alone, so I’m asking you to come together and let’s do more.
Those words were spoken into my phone over 6 months ago. You may notice it is not the most eloquent letter you have ever heard, but I hope you hear the passion and desperation that we all should feel about the condition of our nation.
In those 6 months we have seen a government cast off the Constitution in her dealings. Many of our states that voted to uphold the scriptural definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman have seen that vote overturned. Ferguson has happened. A minister has been told that if he does not solemnize marriages between homosexuals he will face jail time. The Houston Mayor subpoenaed the sermons of Houston Churches because of their stand against a policy she was supporting that furthered the LBGT agenda (she has since dropped it). And now, the Mayor of Atlanta, GA has fired the Fire Chief for a Christian book that he wrote that has 1-2 pages addressing homosexuality as a sin. We are in trouble.
I am submitting this challenge now to get involved in any way and everywhere you can. Specifically, come to Camp.
Following is a letter from Makayla Sanders encouraging you not to just come and worship, but come and participate. Have you got your steel-toed boots on?
There is one main area that is physically noticeable wherein most Baptist Churches are in disobedience and that is our eating habits. What would happen in our Churches if we got in line with scripture and treated the body that He gave us as His temple and did not defile it with too much sugar, fat, etc.? I believe we would see an outpouring of God’s power that would surprise us and most likely revive us.
So please hear Makayla:
Hello, my name is Makayla Sanders. Bro. Ben asked me to write this letter to you. We were talking during ‘The Beast’ challenge at camp last year about how many people in our association could and should run ‘The Beast.’ Then we got onto health, so I just want to share these thoughts with you in light of that conversation.
Do you think it is a sin to be overweight? Why would it be? “It is not hurting anyone” is what most people think. Well, you are hurting someone, more than one person – you’re hurting yourself and God. Being overweight is a sin. Proverbs 23:1-3 says ‘when you sit down to eat with a ruler consider carefully what is in front of you and put a knife to your throat if you are a man given to your appetite. Do not desire his delicacies for they are deceptive food.” The Bible does not really mean to put a knife to your throat, it is just saying to curb your appetite; control it. As Christians, we look at people that drink and think, “I can’t believe they are doing that” or “drinking is not the answer to your problems.” Well, when we look down on them for doing that, we should look at what we do wrong. Proverbs 23:20 “Do not mix with wine bibbers or with gluttonous eaters of meat.” This is saying that overeating is just as bad as drinking.
God wants us to live a healthy, joyful life. I’m almost 100% sure that you want to live a healthy, joyful life as well, so why not take a stand? Do what you’re called to do and be a good example for people; for the kids growing up behind you.
I am 16 years old and one of my biggest fears is becoming overweight so what I need to do is eat healthy. A website that I have used to see if I can find a type of healthy snack is Pinterest. Pinterest has a ton of great ideas for eating healthy. If you and your family are always on the go, then you can look up quick and easy healthy dinners or you could prepare a meal, freeze it, and pop it in the oven when you are ready to have that meal.
Another thing I need to do is to stay active. We are always busy running around, some of us taking our kids to places that we need to go. Well, that doesn’t always leave time to be active so we say,“Okay, I can’t workout today, I’ll do it tomorrow,” or “I cannot fit it in my schedule, I cannot do it today.” Then the cycle repeats itself everyday. We need to make it a habit and make it a part of our schedule. Being active doesn’t always mean to go on a run, lift weights or see how many sit ups or push ups we can do. Being active can mean to play outside with our families or go on a bike ride – something enjoyable. You could even start a group and work out together and use each other as motivation. When you start falling behind you can ask someone else to help you. I know it is very hard to keep going and stay in that routine, but if you use each other for motivation and ask God for the strength, you will be able to do it if it is something you truly want for yourself and your family.
I’m writing this paper because I want to be able to help people out with their struggles. I am wanting to become a personal trainer after high school. God has blessed me with an opportunity to become a personal trainer. At the age right now, I think I would be able to use this job as a mission field. If I get this job it would be such a blessing. If I do not get the job then it’s OK, I will still try to stay active and eat healthy.
Please join us at Jesus Camp this year. Accept Bro. Ben’s challenge and let’s attend the worship services. Accept the challenge to get in shape and run ‘The Beast’!
Did you hear her passion? This is just one of many of our young people that attend our church not once a week, not twice a week, but three times a week and they love us. They want us to live as long as God wants us to. They want us to be healthy. They want us to set the example for them. They want us to be around long enough to see their VBS closing program, to see their Awana closing program, to see their baptism, to see their graduation, to see their wedding, to see their children.
Adults, I hear it all the time from quite honestly, I believe, preachers that are tired of talking to disinterested adults. Those preachers say that they believe the next revival is going to come from the youth and that most, if not all great revivals have come from the youth. I’m not trying to argue against history as much as tell you that I don’t believe that is God’s design. According to Scripture, it’s the adults that are to set the example. It’s the adults that are to lead.
So, I’m challenging myself and the Meramec Association to: #1 Pick at least one night to come to camp worship and be there by 6:30 p.m. #2 If you’re overweight, accept the challenge and let’s get in shape. #3 If you are able, take the challenge of the obstacle course that we call ‘The Beast’ and let’s have some fun. #4 and greatest of all, let’s individually daily pray for revival in America and please end your prayer with “Lord, start with me.”